SIDEKICKS is the uplifting story of an underdog, asthmatic, high-school student, Barry, who idolizes Chuck Norris and imagines fighting battles alongside him. Norris plays himself and adds that “hero” quality as he comes to Barry’s rescue in several different “dream” scenarios and as a surprise at the film’s end. This is a good-hearted movie that focuses on several characters who all care about Barry and want the best for him. Barry decides to take a stand against his crippling health defect, and the class bully who is jealous because the most popular girl likes Barry. An old man, Mako, teaches Barry to defend himself using karate, and at the film’s end, Barry is vindicated in his struggles.
SIDEKICKS touches on several areas that deal with how we treat each other as a society and how we handle issues such as prejudice, disrespect for peers and adults, teen dating, the frustrations teenagers go through with parental relationships, and seeing dreams come true if you want them badly enough. Aside from the cartoon-like violence in the various make-believe action scenarios, the themes and characters deliver the moral lessons Barry seems to need at each particular hour. The special effects, dynamic colors, interesting plot twists, funny performances, and a great story line land this action/adventure/comedy a bright spot as a family film. The movie is also a return to the “hero” concept–which is a welcome return indeed.
(B, L, V) SIDEKICKS emphasizes self-esteem, achieving goals and dreams, having a hero to look up to, working hard for what you want, and teamwork. It is a family-oriented film marred by: 6 minor obscenities & 2 exclamations; slapstick violence played out in several different scenarios depicting Norris fighting alongside Barry but no deaths; two scenes where boy kisses girl; bully picks on Barry until Barry fights back; and, Karate tournament with competitive action.